It's a unique moment in time when you whole-heartedly connect with another person's vision. I've been lucky to have this experience twice already this year.
La La Land came into my life in perfect timing. The jazz music, the story for and about dreamers, and the wanderlust I'm currently facing for the West Coast. It was all very serendipitous, and maybe borderline creepy on the universe's part. Every time I watch that film, its effect isn't lost. That's when you know you have found a vision just for you.
I have had a similar experience with Connor Franta's books, particularly Note to Self. Connor is 24, a YouTuber, entrepreneur and visionary. A New York Times bestselling author, and refreshingly human...stay with me here.
I read Note to Self first, not knowing who Connor Franta was or what he stood for. And it has been a blessing since the moment I picked it up in Barnes & Noble. Literally, I got a flat tire just ten minutes after buying it, and with my phone at 20% this book got me through an hour of waiting around for Triple A at a petroleum station in the rain. And later, anxiety and depression and general worries that come with navigating 20something and being a part of this current world and generation.
I was attracted to this book originally because of the aesthetic. If you follow Connor on Instagram (@connorfranta), this aesthetic continues well into his feed of photography and musings. Flipping through I saw photos of roses and windows, poems reminiscent of Milk and Honey, and personal essays titled "her peach sunglasses" and "it will all be okay." Trendy, but visually sound; simple and reassuring at first glance.
I found a lot of inspiration in this book, because like a lot of memoirs or auto-biographies, this book is undeniably natural. Connor wrote in specific moments of time that resulted in the purest product - in advice, experience and a mentality that make you feel perfectly understood. Happy, free, confused and lonely all at the same time? Yes, that's a Taylor Swift lyric, don't @ me. This book is for you, despite it reading "this one is for me."
I challenge you to take this book slow, despite it being so easy to power through. There's value in remembering and experiencing your lows and appreciating your highs. It's what makes us human.
A Work in Progress is actually Connor's second book, and is much more of a memoir by definition. It's a lighter read, a little less visual and more humorous, but still slips in perfectly crafted pieces of life truths in right timing.
This book is the background I needed after Note to Self. Filled with stories about childhood, high school and the road to a YouTube career. It was like being friends with someone for months and only just learning their name. Kind of like when Lilly discovered Miley is actually Hannah Montana. People have layers, and I had unknowingly skipped the surface.
A book for millennials, describing the power of scars, putting down your phone and forgetting the number of likes on an Instagram. Absolutely worth the read as well.
Since reading these books I now am a subscriber to Connor's YouTube channel, also worth checking out, and new content every Monday - skits, life rants, and more visions to follow. Here's a few of my favorite videos you can check out for starters:
Love always, Marisa